Dwayne Bravo struck a six from the final delivery as the Chennai Super Kings kept alive their play-off hopes in the Indian Premier League with a tense five-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Monday. The West Indian allrounder struck Rajat Bhatia over the long-on fence. Chasing a modest score of 159, openers got Chennai off to a flying start as Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay stitched 97-run opening stand.
Mystery spinner Sunil Narine then struck twice in the tenth over to end the Hussey-Vijay partnership. Narine double-strike helped Kolkata reduce Chennai to 97 for 2 in 9.4 overs. Soon a terrible mix-up saw Suresh Raina perish for eight. Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni then got down to the task of guiding Chennai to victory. Dhoni (28 off 21) set up the match nicely, taking 18 runs from the penultimate over bowled by Marchant de Lange.
But the captain fell off the second ball in the last over, with just three coming from the next four, before Bravo's last-ball maximum stunned the home crowd into silence.
Earlier, Chennai bowlers put on a inspired show to restrict Kolkata for 158 for 6. Put into bat, Gautam Gambhir struck an aggressive half-century but then watched his team falter thanks to some brilliant bowling by Chennai bowlers. Gambhir blasted 62 off just 43 deliveries and put on a 99 run opening partnership with Brendon McCullum (37 off 29).
From 99 for no loss in the 12th over, the KKR were reduced to 128 for 5 in the 18th over as Jacques Kallis (4), Manoj Tiwary (12) and Yusuf Pathan (11) failed to make any impact. McCullum was the first to go courtesy of a needless run out. Then in the very next over Shahdab Jakati got one to slip one through Gambhir's defence to have his stumps castled.
Kallis (4) fell attempting to reverse-sweep to Jakati, while Pathan started explosively for a huge six over long-on but his run of woeful form continued as he mistimed a delivery in the very next over as he fell to R Ashwin. Soon Tiwary was caught in the deep off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja. The hosts were struggling at 128 for 5 at that stage.
In the end, late charge by Debabrata Das (19 not out off 10 balls) make sure that the hosts set a competitive target for the defending champions. Das hit a six and two fours in his late blast.